Carlos Gamez de Francisco
CARLOS GAMEZ DE FRANCISCO
Carlos Gamez de Francisco was born in post-revolutionary Cuba in 1987, to a Cuban-Spanish mother and a Cuban American father. He grew up in Cuba and was educated in an academic style heavily influenced by the Russian Academy. At age five, he determined, with absolute certainty, that he would be an artist. By the time he was fifteen, Gamez de Francisco was diligently painting 8 hours a day, every day. Today, he often spends 15 hours a day painting and feels “very blessed to do what I love.” Gamez de Francisco arrived in the United States with $650 at the age of 21 knowing no English. He spent $600 on art supplies and $50 on a pair of Cortez running shoes – “just like the ones Forrest Gump wore to run across the United States.” He committed himself to learn 100 English words every day, studying diligently, working and painting at night. For the first five months he lived in America without sleep. His exceptional talent, hard work and perseverance led him to earn artistic commissions and recognition. Gamez de Francisco paints and photographs very passionately, making statements filled with symbolism. He frequently includes insects in his artwork. He says: “Flying insects represent freedom; falling insects represent chaos; when they are lying down, they represent balance.” Gamez de Francisco’s work is exquisitely detailed, beautifully executed and primarily – thought-provoking. Highly awarded and exhibited, some of Carlos’ numerous awards include: Honorable Mention, International Color Awards, Beverly Hills, CA (2020), Honorable Mention, (2019) Tokyo International Photo Awards, Tokyo, Japan, “Dreammakers” Artist in Residence at the Muhammad Museum, the Distinguished Scholarship from the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Museum Guild Purchase Award from Evansville Museum. He has had solo shows at 21c Museum in Louisville, Kentucky, and Bentonville, Arkansas, Kenise Barnes Fine Art in Larchmont, New York, Tinney Contemporary Gallery in Nashville, Tennessee, Hardcore Art Contemporary Space in Miami, Florida, The Muhammad Ali Museum in Louisville, Kentucky, and the Colonial Museum of Fine Arts in Havana, Cuba. His work has been exhibited at Scope-Art Basel, Miami (2012), Art Palm Beach (2014), Art Southampton, New York (2015), and Context Art Miami (2016).
I was born in post-revolutionary Cuba in 1987 and educated in an academic setting heavily governed by the Russian Academy. This frame of reference is evident in all my work. To deny my experiences, perceptions and the impact of history would be disregarding my own existence. These influences are the lens through which I create and the motivation that propels me. Cuban history has guided me in a variety of ways. On the one hand, it allows me to rethink the way storytelling is part of our memories. On the other, it allows me to question the accuracy of history and its telling. This conflict absorbed me during my early years and continues to engage me as I complete my artistic education. Currently, this near-obsession with the past translates into figures, scenarios, and most importantly, the recreation of my own stories. In Cuba, I was exposed to figurative arts by the presence of the Russian Academy. This presence, as well as the censorship of contemporary art and the limited access to information, was the accepted dogma. Consequently, I understood that decontextualizing epochs and artistic symbols was the tool I could use to establish a connection between the present and the past. The resulting work provides an escape from reality and creates an illusory world. I am more fascinated in altering history than depicting it accurately.
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